28/02/2011 12:11 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Childhood Headaches Could Make You Gain Weight

If you've put on more than a few pounds lately, ask yourself this: did you used to suffer from migraines as a child? According to researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle, girls who suffer from the crushing headaches may be more likely to gain weight when they get older.

woman-using-tape-measure-to-measure-waist If you had migraines as a child, you may be more likely to gain weight as an adult. Photo: Getty

After studying more than 3,700 women, the researchers discovered that out of those who had suffered from migraines as a child, four out of ten had put on at least 22lbs since turning 18. Out of those who hadn't had migraines when they were children, three out of 10 had gained a similar amount of weight.

It may not sound like a very big difference, but the researchers claim it's enough to suggest there is a link - and it's not just because children who have bad headaches may already be overweight, they say.

Writing in the journal Headache, the experts found one in every six women of normal weight had suffered from migraines, compared with one in four obese women.

One in four women is thought to have migraines in this country, but it's also common in children with around 5-10% of school-aged children thought to be affected. The average age when children start having migraines is just six years old, though it's rare for children under the age of two to have them.

The study doesn't offer any solutions for headache sufferers who want to avoid packing on the pounds, but if you did have migraines when you were younger it does suggest that you may want to watch your weight more closely.

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